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Both in cinemas and on television, August is a strong month for comeback successes. New seasons of last year’s favorites, such as Reservation Dogs and Industry, will debut this month. Moviegoers with a sense of nostalgia can watch E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial Again in IMAX theaters. Even the biggest launch of the month, a prequel to Game of Thrones, is essentially a return.
But even without the dragons and carnage that a return to Westeros would bring, this month has much to look forward to. Here are some of the most intriguing titles, beginning with an intriguing-looking murder mystery.
THREE BODY, THREE BODY (THEATERS, AUGUST 5)
In order to pass the time while waiting out a hurricane in a mansion, a group of friends and acquaintances decide to play a game with a murderous theme. What might possibly fail? a lot, in fact! The cast of this darkly humorous thriller is led by Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Pete Davidson, and Lee Pace. It was created by Dutch director Halina Reijn.
BLATANT TRAIN (THEATERS, AUGUST 5)
The movie Bodies, Bodies, Bodies isn’t the only one opening this week that features murder and mayhem in a small setting. This action thriller is directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) and stars Brad Pitt as an American assassin in Japan tasked with stealing a suitcase from a train. No issue, correct? It is when there are numerous other expert assassins aboard the train (played by everyone from Brian Tyree Henry to Zazie Beetz and yes, Bad Bunny).
I HEART MY DAD (THEATRES 5 AUG, VOD 12 AUG) A tried-and-true method for parents and kids to connect is through a road trip. But a road trip built on deception? That may not go as planned. The father in this festival favorite, played by Patton Oswalt, is called Chuck, and he catfishes his son (James Morosini, who also writes and directs the film), in an effort to connect with him. He then consents to take his son to see the fictitious woman of his dreams once the deception becomes out of control.
Luck, August 5 (Theaters/Apple TV).
With this tale of an unfortunate woman named Sam (Eva Noblezada) whose life improves after she finds a lucky penny—until she unintentionally flushes it down the toilet—ambitious animation studio Skydance Animation makes its debut. In place of Emma Thompson, who quit the project owing to the presence of former Pixar head John Lasseter, Simon Pegg co-stars as a talking cat, and Jane Fonda as a dragon. Watch on Apple TV here.
PREY (HULU, AUGUST 5) (HULU, AUGUST 5)
The most recent Predator movie goes way back in time. As the Comanche warrior Naru, played by Amber Midthunder (Legion), she must battle an opponent from another world. That’s a great setup, and the fact that Dan Trachtenberg, the filmmaker of 10 Cloverfield Lane, is involved makes it much more encouraging. Observe with an free trial to Hulu here.
(THEATERS / VOD AUGUST 5) RESURRECTION
Rebecca Hall plays Margaret in the Andrew Semans movie. Margaret is a successful executive and single mother who begins to lose it when she runs into David (Tim Roth), a man from her past. One of the many surprises in a movie that enthralled Sundance audiences earlier this year was who he is and what he meant to her.
TWELVE LIVES (PRIME VIDEO, AUGUST 5)
In his most recent film, Ron Howard describes the heroic measures taken to free a soccer team that had been imprisoned for 18 days after a flood in Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Three real-life heroes, played by Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton, are tasked with solving a seemingly intractable problem. Click here to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime Video.
A SANDMAN (NETFLIX, AUGUST 5)
After several failed attempts dating back to the early 1990s, Tom Sturridge (Velvet Buzzsaw) has been cast as Morpheus, the mythical king of dreams who escapes from more than a century of captivity and sets out to restore order to his kingdom in Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed comic book series. Gaiman is heavily involved in the series, which should assuage longtime fans concerned about a dishonest adaptation. He is working with David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg, both seasoned pros at adapting comics into movies and television. Watch on Netflix here.
EMILY THE DEVIANT (THEATERS, AUGUST 12)
Aubrey Plaza plays Emily in this crime drama, another Sundance blockbuster and John Patton Ford’s first effort as a director. Emily is a woman driven to despair by her ostensibly insurmountable debts. However, after working with Youcef (Theo Rossi), a criminal who employs her, she thinks she might have discovered a way out.
A PERSONAL LEAGUE (PRIME VIDEO, AUGUST 12)
A League of Their Own isn’t one of those movies that don’t seem like they’d make good TV series. Even though the Penny Marshall movie about a women’s professional baseball league that was established during World War II is excellent, it also implies that there are a lot more tales to be told concerning that society. This continuous series about the adventures of one team was created by Will Graham and starring Abbi Jacobsen, Chant Adams, Darcy Carden, and Nick Offerman. Click here to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime Video.
Attorney at Law She-Huk (DISNEY , AUGUST 17)
Being a superhero is challenging enough without having to hold down a regular job. That’s one among the issues Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a superhuman trials attorney who possesses part of her cousin Bruce Banner’s abilities, faces (Mark Ruffalo, whos set to appear). The show’s creator, Rick and Morty alum Jennifer Gao, will likely have a unique perspective on the MCU and its characters. Watch on Disney here.
THE UNANNOUNCED WAR (PEACOCK, AUGUST 18)
This British drama, which is set in 2024, shows a conflict between the UK and Russia that manifests as debilitating cyberattacks. With stalwarts like Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, and Adrian Lester filling out the cast, Hannah Khalique-Brown plays the lead role of Saara, an intern destined to play a crucial part in the conflict. Watch on Peacock here.
Awful Sisters (APPLE TV , AUGUST 19)
Apple hasn’t provided many details on Bad Sisters, which is described as a dark comedy about five sisters who were negatively impacted by their parents’ passing years before. However, we do know that it was created by Sharon Horgan, whose name alone suggests it will be worth seeing, and stars Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, and Eve Hewson. Watch on Apple TV here.
DOMAINE DU DRAGON (HBO, AUGUST 21)
There are still tales to be told in the Westeros of George R.R. Martin’s Westeros, even though Game of Thrones has been over for three years. The events of this series take place 200 years before those of Game of Thrones, when King Viserys I sits on the Iron Throne (Paddy Considine). But don’t count on the calm to last. Co-stars include Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, and Emma D’Arcy. Watch on HBO Max here.
CHEERS TO WREXHAM (FX, AUGUST 23)
What would occur if two Hollywood A-listers joined together to purchase a struggling Welsh football team? That sounds like the plot of a high-concept comedy, but Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds actually bought Wrexham A.F.C. in 2020. The pair’s efforts to improve the club’s fortunes are documented in this series. Observe with an free trial to FX on Hulu here.
AUGUST 25: LITTLE DEMON (FX/HULU)
Despite parenting the daughter of Satan, Aubrey Plaza portrays a woman in a new animated series executive produced by Community and Rick and Morty’s Dan Harmon. It is a creation of Danny DeVito’s Jersey Films, and DeVito plays Satan, while Lucy DeVito, his own daughter, plays the hellspawn. Observe with an free trial to FX on Hulu here.
MIKE (HULU, 25 AUGUST) Don’t anticipate much inspiration from this unofficial look at the life of the former champion because Mike Tyson’s story doesn’t lend itself to a standard type of sports biography. In a limited television series that follows Tyson’s rise and collapse, Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) portrays the adult Tyson. Observe with an free trial to Hulu here.
AUGUST 30: THE PATIENT (FX/HULU)
This limited series deceives the audience about the relationship between a doctor (Steve Carell) and a serial killer. It was created and produced by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (The Americans) (Domhnall Gleeson). The twist: the killer is holding the shrink against his will in an effort to exorcise his demons. Observe with an free trial to FX on Hulu here.
LONGING FOR THREE THOUSAND YEARS (THEATERS, AUGUST 31)
Director George Miller adapted a short story by A.S. Byatt about an encounter between a scholar (Tilda Swinton) and a djinn (Idris Elba) who delivers her three wishes and a collection of tales for his first movie since Mad Max: Fury Road.
ANDOR (DISNEY , AUGUST 31)
The 2016 movie Star Wars: Rogue One provided a gritty view of the Star Wars universe with a plot including espionage, terrorists, and a significant number of fatalities. Set five years before that movie, the Andor television series, starring Rogue One’s Diego Luna as a thief who becomes entangled in interplanetary politics, takes viewers back to the seedier side of the galaxy far, far away. Tony Gilroy, who also wrote Rogue One, is the showrunner and stars alongside Genevieve OReilly and Stellan Skarsgard. Watch on Disney here.